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This Is The Computers
The Computers This Is The Computers
Released 13 May 2011
Producer John Reis
Label Fat Cat
Length 24:16
Genre Hardcore, punk
Website thisisthecomputers.com

Every teenager goes through an angsty, rebellious stage which explains why my CD collection is littered with albums by bands like the Sex Pistols, Rage Against The Machine, Slayer, NWA and Black Flag. Now I’m far from a card-carrying metal head and have never sold my soul to Satan but there were times growing up when all I wanted to listen to was expletive laden music to stick it to ‘The Man’ (although I’m not quite sure I really knew which man that was). So there was a definite reawakening of my inner teenager when I pressed play on This Is The Computers the debut album from the Exeter based quartet.

The Computers’ sound is classic Punk at heart, mixing brevity and a rebellious spirit with screaming and profanity. It’s a potent cocktail and manages to capture the anger and misunderstanding of youth, summing up the fear of isolation with opening track 'Where Do I Fit In?', lead singer Alex Kershaw screaming the title like a mantra for the disenchanted. It’s the shortest song on the album at one minute and thirteen seconds but it’s straight to the point and captures the punk ethos perfectly. To further bolster their punk credentials, the album was recorded straight to tape bypassing the conformist method of using a computer (making their band name a tad ironic).

The band’s musical abilities are geared more towards speed than technical intricacies so you get simple riffs repeated at pace, similar to The Ramones’ template and like said template the rhythm gets the adrenalin pumping. Every song is tight with two guitars, bass and drums playing as one through many blistering stop-start riffs. The formula works well for the band and songs like 'Blood Is Thicker' and 'Cinco de Mayo' show them on top form.

For the most part This Is The Computers sticks to its Punk origins but makes a few sojourns into less expected musical territories. 'Rhythm Review' switches to the early Rock ‘n’ Roll of the 1950s with the band coming across as dead ringers for the Jim Jones Review in the process while 'The Queen in 3D' draws from bluesier roots with an intro that shows how Kershaw sounds when he’s not in scream mode. It’s an interesting, if fleeting, change of pace that is unfortunately left unexplored on the rest of the album.

As a band The Computers are doing a fine job of writing hardcore Punk music to get a crowd going, but for me it’s a limited genre and This Is The Computers worked best when it moved away from their default Punk sound. This album teases with snippets of how the band could grow into something bigger, both anarchic and interesting, without ever giving more than two minutes for such ideas to evolve. It’s a strong debut, one that will get them plenty of notice but one that ultimately hints at enormous potential for the future bubbling close to the surface.

- Brian Kinsella